I posted this on our family blog - as I process through this journey I'll post here for those who read this and for the people following our teams trip to Ethiopia. If anyone else from the team has anything to post please do! Thank you all for your prayers and support!! Davids working on a video - we'll post it after he's finished!
Never before has this process felt so painful. I remember being in Ethiopia and sharing with the team that I felt I'd have an easier time working through what I'd seen simply because "I've been there before". So. Not. The. Case. Its worse. I feel the burden so much deeper. I feel the cutting away of my calloused heart so much more. My gut is in turmoil much of the time. I can't keep silent any longer. I feel like screaming from the rooftops about the babies we saw, the starving children also without adequate clothing or shoes, the families foraging for food in the dump, the severe need for us Christians to take ACTION. To put our money where our mouth is to put our faith into ACTION. I'm struggling. I'm looking at my own self and my own desires and trying to work through what God wants from me. How can I properly tell the story of so many of my now family in Ethiopia that is struggling so much. How can I do them justice by sharing their pain with each of you. What can WE do together to make a difference in their lives? Its a process. David and I don't have the answers. We have some ideas but we're still working through all of those details.
I had a friend write me earlier this week with the question of why I said we were "wrecked" if truly we were being "fixed" in our heart of hearts. If God was doing a work in our hearts and breaking us even further for the things that break His heart aren't we really gaining vs. losing as the term "wrecked" implies. It got me thinking. While I agree with the gain part of seeing people like Jesus sees them I feel as if there is a certain "wrecking" that must happen in order to get to that point. In my own heart I have wrestled with how I can make a difference, I've had to be refined and the calloused parts of my heart worn down to see what Jesus sees when he looks into the eyes of the orphan and widow. To fight for justice, to fight for the oppressed. I think this is the case for all of us. I watched it happen to our entire team as each day they were a little more burdened, a little more broken, a LOT more wrecked for the things that break our Saviors heart. I guess you could call it a bit of a Holy Wrecking! A welcomed wrecking, a needed wrecking on a heart that so desperately needs Jesus and HIS love, without Him I am nothing.
In Isaiah 1:17 it says learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. This is an ACTION verse. I love that the ESV version says "correct oppression". That means we have to DO something. We are called to show our faith in deeds, faith without deeds is dead. While verse 17 is great, if we read further on we are challenged even further. Verses 18-20 say this:
"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
I was so convicted about the last part of verse 20, not only are we to defend the cause of the orphan and widow but God is so serious, if we are obedient to His call the reward is GREAT even in our sacrifice for the cause of others but the threat of death is also there should we rebel against his command! I'm thinking that's pretty serious, how about you?
Here are a few more pictures from our trip.
This picture sparks so much inside of me, watching my husband act out being a father to the fatherless makes me fall in love with him all over again. Melts me.
Our brother Sammy, an amazing man of God, forever woven into our family.
Our sweet girls from Tamoca, they came back every afternoon looking for us, the relationship we forged with the shop owner through them was amazing.
talking about the supplies we brought and explaining how to properly utilize them.
The story behind this smile is amazing. God saw fit to allow her to be taken off the street, it was an honor to be the ones to work out those details. Glory to HIS name.
Nichol and one of the sweet babies she fell in love with.
Aren't these little choir kids precious? They sang to our King and melted our hearts. So sweet!